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According to the Bombay High Court, the offense of rash and negligent driving cannot be established solely by driving at high speeds. In a recent order by Justice SM Modak, it was stated that to qualify as rash and negligent driving, the driver must exhibit both recklessness and negligence. 

The judge further elaborated that recklessness refers to driving at high speeds, while negligence involves failing to give proper attention to driving.

The court has stated that an act of driving is only punishable if it can be proven to be both rash and negligent. 

The court further explained that rashness is characterized by excessive or unwarranted speed, while negligence involves a lack of proper care and attention while driving. 

Based on this reasoning, the court upheld the acquittal of a man who had been charged with causing the death of a cyclist and a bullock after his car collided with them.

The man had been charged with multiple offenses including rash and negligent driving, causing hurt or grievous hurt due to recklessness, causing death by negligence, and violating Section 134 of the Motor Vehicles Act. 

During the trial, live witnesses testified and documentary evidence was presented to support the prosecution’s claim that the accused had been driving at a high speed. However, despite this, the trial court acquitted the accused in 2009, prompting the State of Maharashtra to appeal the decision before the Bombay High Court.

Written by Rishav raj BBA ll. b 4th semester (RNB global university)


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